Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stuff Like This Angers Me to My Core

I live in a very small town, one that was shocked yesterday by the murder of a local business owner, beaten to death with an axe handle on the floor of his own store.

http://www.wpde.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=199987
and
http://www.scnow.com/scp/news/local/article/hartsville_store_owner_robbed_murdered/15699/

With the video footage of the suspect, it shouldn't be too hard to capture him. He's a big dude, and someone will recognize him. I've been to Gardner's and I knew the victim. When this suspect is caught, I hope he is given a very fair and impartial trial, that he is convicted of first-degree murder due to the overwhelming evidence, and that he is executed.

I lean left-of-center but I think the death penalty is warranted in cases like this. In my world, this is far more an act of terrorism (it happened less than a mile from my home) than any bomb going off. I don't "hope it hurts" or anything like that, I just think that the brutality of his crimes leaves him with no chance of ever changing, and that his execution would serve as a reminder to local thugs that murder brings death and that they are not immune from punishment. I knew the victim; he was a good and hardworking man. The murderer is not. He only robbed $30! Can you imagine being killed for $30? If I were a business owner, I'd think about keeping a shotgun for situations like this.

Hartsville will never grow unless we address the causes of crime (poverty, 15-year olds forevermore having babies, and wholescale ignorance of ethics), educate our youth, provide quality jobs to the lower class, legalize the use and sale of most drugs, and then severely punish those who commit violent crimes. As far as I'm concerned, if you use a weapon to rob someone, you're done for 30 years. Bye-bye. Make the punishment severe enough, and I believe crime will drop accordingly. But, rather than punishing, which is just treating the symptom, we must fight the disease, and that means education, jobs, and for society to stop hiding behind sub-cultural facades and starting recognizing the need for fundamental change in every segment of society, irrespective of race, creed, wealth, or the civil status of your parents.

Children need Fathers
Schools need more resources, distributed equitably
Fast-food jobs are not good jobs for adults
Drugs should be legalized
Criminal codes should be strengthened, and judges should be given more discretion on sentencing
Snitching is the right thing to do (farking idiots)
The wealthy need to help, and free capital to create jobs won't be enough
Philanthropy is a moral imperative
Giving your time to something can often have more of an impact that signing a check
Don't assume you know something about people because of how they look
Don't judge a group of people by the actions of a few

2 comments:

Susanna Williams said...

OH MY GOD! This is a day that will live in infamy! The world is different now! You and I HAVE THE SAME POLITICS! OH MY GOD! Yay!

Except...I *would* believe in the death penalty for the reasons you described IF the justice system were infallible. I am opposed to it, however, because of substantial discrimination and prejudice in the system; black convicted felons are much more likely to get harsher sentences, for example.

STILL. This is a great day. WE AGREE! KISS KISS KISS KISS KISS. Yayyy!

Thewmes said...

I really agree that judges need to have discretion to determine the circumstances; then assign the appropriate punishment, or rehabilitation needed. Criminal penalties are plenty harsh; I would see no reason to increase them in most cases.

I think you are right on point with education be the key to any actual improvement in the crime rate. Educate people. Create programs that can help them when they are down stand back up. Institute programs that can help people at those vital moments that they can go either way, before we have no choice but to just throw them away.

Although I have no problem in the death penalty in theory, like Susanna I have no confidence in our ability to administer it.